Three weeks ago today, I had a miscarriage. The day of our first ultrasound. I was waiting until that ultrasound to announce here that I was pregnant.
I was nine weeks, and somehow I had wrongly convinced myself that if you get past 6 or 7 weeks, you’re home free.
It seemed like things were going smoothly, but the morning of our first doctor’s appointment, I woke up and was bleeding. We went in, as scheduled, and found out that there was no heartbeat.
Every time I sit down and try to put words to it all, I feel silent. Like something inside me has been muted.
I still feel numb. I think of that Dickinson poem: “After great pain a formal feeling comes . . . the feet, mechanical, go round . . . this is the hour of lead/remembered if outlived,/as freezing persons recollect the snow–/first chill, then stupor, then the letting go.”
When I’m quiet those lines run through my head. And these from John Greenleaf Whittier: “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.”
Grieving is the process of recognizing the loss of what might have been. Never more true than with a miscarriage.
I got back late last night from speaking at a retreat up in the Seattle area. I went back and forth about going, so soon after the miscarriage. I cancelled one speaking engagement the week it all happened, but I decided to just go ahead and do this one.
With very thinned resources, I had no idea what to expect. I shared these recent events from the stage, and I cried every single time I got up in front.
Throughout the weekend, I had woman after woman coming up to me and telling me their story of loss. So much unimaginable pain. I stood outside and cried with one woman whose story is so heartbreaking I can barely imagine how she is getting out of bed right now.
It was strangely comforting to talk to women in their sixties and seventies who had been through miscarriages years and years ago. When they told me their stories, they cried, all these years later. Somehow their tears validated the sense of loss I feel.
The bothersome thing about grief is that it rolls in, like a wave, and then rolls back out again. You never know when it’s going to hit. Some days it just pools around my feet. Some days it knocks me over, completely submerged.
The most inconvenient process.
Right now, there is a tremendous amount going on in our home. This loss, and so much more. Today, I will leave you with this bit of news. Tomorrow, I will bring you more.
If you are processing a loss today, I am with you, holding a bit of space for what might have been.